“I’m home.” These are words that one would expect to hear at the end of a mission trip after a long flight from a foreign country. Imagine my surprise when I uttered these words while falling asleep the first night upon our return to Managua, Nicaragua at La Quinta Primavera.
After several mission trips to Nicaragua, I find a rhythm to the journey; prayer for and gathering of a team, team training and spiritual preparation, packing sponsor gifts, and telling about TPCC’s commitment to mission projects as I gather team funds in crisp twenty dollar bills at bank branches across northwest Indianapolis.
The tempo of that rhythm accelerates on travel day–black duffel bags holding sponsor gifts hoisted in airport scales, a nap on the plane, and debarkation into a warm, humid, noisy city. Our ten dollar per person entry fee into the country is joyously offered; we are almost there….chaotic baggage gathering and a crowded push through the jostle of the airport crowd stands between us and our van waiting to take us to the beloved Quinta and it’s comforting porches. These are rituals savored and increasingly appreciated with each trip.
Why do I experience such peace and serenity here? I am called to come and serve with TPCC through NRN. What is this “calling?” How does it explain why I dream of Nicaragua before I come and for a month after I return? Frederick Buechner says “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Is my being here really in service to others, because it seems to be an integral part of my own spiritual growth more than anyone else’s.
I continue to work out my mysterious calling here in Nicaragua. I am contemplating another quote: “He calls his servants, He anoints His disciples. He creates and inhabits His ministry.”
Now, hoping for a little sleep before an early flight back to Indianapolis, I am counting down the four month before our return to Nicaragua. Let the dreams begin.